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How Many Teeth Do Children Have?

Sep 30, 2019 - 09:09 AM EST |  Posted under: General, Pediatric Dentistry
How Many Teeth Do Children Have?

It is never too early to be concerned about your child’s oral health. Just like you take your child to a pediatrician for regular checkups, you should also make sure that your child sees a dentist on a regular basis so they can enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Do Babies Already Have Infant Teeth Under Their Gums at Birth?

Most babies are born with their primary teeth waiting under their gums. In rare cases, genetic birth defects, hormonal irregularities, and certain bone and skin diseases can result in tooth abnormalities or even missing teeth.

When Do Babies Start Teething?

Although the age at which children start teething can vary widely, most children start teething around six months of age and have all of their primary teeth by the age of three. Infant teeth typically emerge in the following order:

Upper Teeth

  • Central incisor: 8 to 12 months
  • Lateral incisors: 9 to 13 months
  • First molars: 13 to 19 months
  • Canines: 16 to 22 months
  • Second molars: 25 to 33 months

Lower Teeth

  • Central incisor: 6 to 10 months
  • Lateral incisors: 10 to 16 months
  • First molars: 14 to 18 months
  • Canines: 17 to 23 months
  • Second molars: 23 to 31 months

Around the age of four, you may notice spaces developing between the primary teeth as the bones in your child’s face start to grow. This is perfectly normal and helps to create the space necessary for the larger permanent teeth to emerge.

How Can I Tell If My Baby Is Cutting Infant Teeth?

Babies who are teething tend to drool much more than normal. In some cases, the constant drooling may even cause a mild rash on the cheeks or chin. This is nothing to be overly concerned about; just keep a cloth available so you can wipe your baby’s face. You may notice that your child will start to bite and chew on anything within reach as a way to massage their sore gums. The gums may appear red and swollen and be tender to the touch. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends gently massaging the gums or providing the child with a teething toy to chew on rather than using topical pain relievers that can be rinsed away within a few minutes. It is common for teething babies to run a low-grade fever. If your child’s fever is over 101°F, however, it is more likely caused by an illness, and you should take them to a doctor. Of course, even good-natured babies are likely to be cranky and fussy because of the discomfort.

How Many Infant Teeth Do Children Have?

Most children have 20 primary teeth.

Why Is It Important to Provide Baby Teeth Care?

Even though your child will only have their primary teeth for a short time, they still require care. Proper dental care will ensure that your child has the healthy teeth necessary for speech development and good nutrition. Starting an oral health regimen at an early age also protects the health of the developing permanent teeth and instills the habits necessary for a lifetime of good oral health.

You can start a baby teeth care regimen before the teeth actually erupt by using a damp cloth or gauze to clean your baby’s gums. Once the first tooth erupts, you should start brushing and flossing. Because they have limited manual dexterity, most children require help with brushing and flossing until around the age of eight. By the age of three, you should switch from an infant toothpaste to a children’s toothpaste that contains fluoride or xylitol to help protect the teeth from decay. Of course, regular dental exams and cleanings are an important part of baby teeth care. Not only can dentists identify cavities and gum disease in the early stages, but they can also identify issues that may affect the development of the permanent teeth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist once they have their first tooth, and no later than their first birthday.

When Should My Child Start Getting New Permanent Teeth?

Most children start getting their permanent teeth between the ages of six and 12. The new permanent teeth typically erupt in the following order:

Upper Teeth

  • Central incisor: 6 to 7 years
  • Lateral incisors: 7 to 8 years
  • First molars: 9 to 11 years
  • Canines: 10 to 12 years
  • Second molars: 10 to 12 years

Lower Teeth

  • Central incisor: 6 to 7 years
  • Lateral incisors: 7 to 8 years
  • First molars: 9 to 11 years
  • Canines: 9 to 12 years
  • Second molars: 10 to 12 years

What Is the Normal Number of Permanent Teeth?

Most people have 28 permanent teeth by around the age of 13. In addition, many people develop a third set of molars, also known as wisdom teeth, in their late teens or early 20s, which can bring the total to 32.

Are Invisible Aligners Appropriate for Children?

While clear teeth aligners are an effective way to treat mild to moderate orthodontic issues, they are not for everyone. Aligners are not necessarily the most effective orthodontic treatment option for young children for several reasons:

  • Children often lack the discipline and maturity necessary to wear the teeth aligners the recommended 18 to 22 hours a day. This means that the treatment can take longer than expected, which means you end up paying more.
  • Children may not remember to clean their teeth aligners when brushing, which increases the risk of cavities.
  • Children are more likely to lose or break their teeth aligners when they take them out to eat.

Most children experience better results with traditional braces. If your child has orthodontic issues, our pediatric dental specialists can help you find the best braces for your child’s dental needs.

Should My Child Have Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?

Because our mouths are often too small to accommodate the wisdom teeth, it is common for the third set of molars to become impacted or come in at an angle that can damage the adjacent teeth. This can lead to bacteria and plaque buildup around the teeth, infection or decay, and pain. We recommend that your child have a wisdom tooth evaluation between the ages of 16 and 19 to determine if they may need to have their wisdom teeth pulled. Despite the old wives’ tales that you may have heard, wisdom teeth removal surgery is normally no more uncomfortable than a traditional filling.

What Types of Services Do Pediatric Dental Specialists Offer?

Pediatric dentists offer a range of services targeting the unique dental needs of children, including:

  • Basic oral health exams for infants, children, and teens
  • Preventative care, such as cleanings and fluoride treatments
  • Oral health education
  • Tooth repair and reconstruction
  • Diagnosis of oral health conditions associated with various health conditions
  • Care and prevention of dental injuries
  • Prevention and treatment of gum disease and other oral health conditions

What Are the Benefits of Taking My Child to a Pediatric Dental Specialist?

There are a number of advantages to having a pediatric dentist as part of your child’s healthcare team. From preventing oral health issues before they can start, to encouraging good dental habits or finding the best braces, a pediatric dentist has experience in dealing with the dental needs, concerns, and fears of children and their parents.

Call today to find out more about our pediatric dental services or to schedule an appointment. Call today or request an appointment online.

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